Cades Cove 499 Paper pdf - Policy to Reduce Emissions in...

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Policy to Reduce Emissions in Cades Cove Smoky Mountains National Park Ryan Blankenship Chris Coppenger Nicole Jordan Brian Stuber Morgan Younger
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2 Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains is one of the most heavily used National Park areas in the United States. Since 1990 use of Cades Cove has doubled. Annually, this portion of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has at least 2 million visitors (Hodges, 1). According to the Cades Cove Planning Committee, during the peak season nearly 4000 vehicles travel the 11-mile loop through Cades Cove per day. This number is only expected to increase in the coming years. There are many concerns with this high level of traffic through the cove, which include: congestion, damage to park roads and natural landscape, availability of parking, and number of facilities. However, one of the major concerns is the amount of pollution caused by the heavy traffic because the primary recreational activity of visitors to Cades Cove is touring the loop in a private vehicle (Executive Summary, 1). Because of the National Park Service’s desire that Cades Cove be available to large numbers of visitors, they have allowed private vehicle access as the means to view the park. However the large number of vehicles that travel the Loop road daily cause damage to the road and the resources available in the park. In order to correct this problem, the Cades Cove Planning Commission put together a few alternatives that would allow visitors to continue to have access to the park, but would correct some of the current problems. These alternatives include: Roadway Improvement, Shuttle System, Information Dissemination, Command and Control, and a Reservation fee System. Some of these methods have been successful in other National Parks, and they may be helpful methods to fix the problem in Cades Cove. While all of these alternatives are covered in this paper; the purpose of this paper is to discuss how implementing a pollution tax would decrease the number of cars to a level that would significantly lower the amount of pollution in Cades Cove. By implementing an admission fee, the National Park Service could regulate the amount of cars coming into Cades Cove and thereby reduce pollution to a reasonable level (<65 ppb).
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3 Comparative Analysis One very important aspect of our research included comparing our analysis of the Cades Cove Loop’s transportation system to other Alternative Transportation Systems that have been installed in other parks across the country. The current problem rests on the idea that many parks are at or beyond vehicle capacity. With future visitation into these parks on the rise, we must administer alternative methods to remedy this problem while enhancing visitor experience in these areas. A few of the parks that we have decided to look at include: Zion National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, Shenandoah National Park, Acadia National Park, Kejimkujik National Park, and a general look at the Minnesota State Park System.
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